DYNAMIC AFRICA

African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




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Posts tagged "democratic republic of congo"

Revisiting the “African-Urban-Man” Style: Sapeurs by Amira Ali.

“White people invented the clothes, but we make an art of it”, a phrase commonly used and referred to the Sapeurs, Congo-Brazzaville’s self-confessed modern day dandies. The phrase coined by Sapeur godfather Papa Wemba.

Sapeurs, French slang for “dressing with class” take their name from the acronym SAPE, for Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes. Gentlemen’s club for the dapper, it’s a sartorial subculture consciously emulating its colonizer, layered with ambience and new expressions. The Sapes profess “La Sape” is an “art for ‘real’ gentlemen”. Living by an agreed aesthetical rule, their savior faire and modish use of the body and expensive dress with meticulously matched colors is a radical yet subtle form of protest, which in recent years has received international attention. Seemingly, the symbol of the Sapeur par excellence receives more notice on its aesthetics and less on meaning.

 In this extravagance buzz, the Sape’s fashion statement and bold flair is producing a post-modern phenomenon of the “African-urban-man” style and elegance. Sapologists, “gentlemen who live by a creed with a strict code of honor and morality”, are said to contest circumstances poised through the beautification effect of chic dressing. A belief that “it’s not the cost of the suit that counts, it’s the worth of the man inside it.” A performance and embodiment of sophistication, Sapeurs are prototypes of vibrant icons consciously portraying the embracing of a subcultural lifestyle.

Fascinated by this culture, the western world, beyond its ahistorical representation of Africa, has taken on the Sape as its new ‘western’ media phenomenon. In 2011, though an oddly placed feature the Sapeurs stole the spotlight in Solange Knowles’ “Losing You” video, shot in South Africa. But discovered long before Solange’s video, they have been introduced to the world colorfully as a ‘society of tastemakers and fashionably elegant’ stylistic inspiration to photographers.

The latest is the Guinness advertisement campaign; a break from the prototypical brand marketer’s portrayal of Africa, its approach takes on the exposé of the urban-debonair-man. A post-modern embodiment of style and sophistication, and a commitment to the “Society of Elegant Persons of the Congo” (La Sape), yet again, they add style, charm and vividness to a campaign that would otherwise be ordinary. These gentlemen referred to by Stephen O’Kelly, Guinness’ marketing director for Western Europe, as a “truly inspiring and unique group of men” are the featured ‘stars’ of Guinness’ recent advertising campaign, “Made of More”.  

A fashionable depiction, the Guinness ad artistically captures the extravagance of the everyday working Sapeurs as they transform from their day job to a cigar wielding, European-three-piece suit, silk socks, and fedora wearing men. Aesthically well crafted, a fine image is displayed of the urban-elegant expensive-looking of gentlemen. Yet, on the far side of this captivating documentation and splendid dress there is another side to the story of the Sapeurs living in Bakongo. These men are described as not being economically wealthy, and in fact some are said to rent items of clothing in the name of ‘ambianceur’ and fashion ‘worshipping’ or even take small fee(s) in exchange for a photographer’s glory –a snapshot of their dapper image. So, besides the undoubtedly rich spirit it may be a wonder, “what of what of the image we see of the Sapeurs is ‘true to life’?” A contrast of their ‘real-life’ far removed from our sight, the world is nonetheless left to experience the Sapeurs through the lens of photographers and cinematographers who bring out their mode par excellence alive. And perhaps, such depictions can be representational of the (re) construction attached to African cultural movements that permeates the western mainstream landscape. 

 All photos by Ruddy Roye :: a Brooklyn (New York) based photographer specializing in editorial and environmental portraits, and photojournalism. You can find more of his work here

NEW MUSIC: Awilo Longomba - Bundelele.

The man who brought us one of the continent’s most-loved Soukous songs is back! Whilst the single was released a few months earlier, Longomba’s finally dropped the offiicial music video for his track Bundelele (meaning ‘dance’).

Staying true to the song’s title, the rythmic and pulsating video celebrates various forms of dance and features choreography from the highly talented Nigerian dancer and member of CEO dancers Ezinne Asinugo.

If Asinugo looks familiar, that’s because you may have seen her in this video as well as the most recent music video from Fuse ODG featuring Sea Paul.

"Euphoria of two young men as they meet and greet each other"

Taken by Ambroise Ngayimoko, Angolan-born DRC photographer, in 1972.

#CHAN2014 Updates: who’s through to the semi-finals?

After being down 0-3 againnst the Lions of the Atlas Mountains, Nigeria beat Morocco 4-3, scoring 3 goals in the second half and their winning goal in extra time, to make it through to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Zimbabwe made history for qualifying for the semi-finals round for the first time ever in the team’s history after beating Mali 2-1.

The heated match between Libya and Gabon saw the former team qualified by beating Gabon 4-2 in penalties.

Ghana’s 1-0 win, with a goal that came about as a result of a penalty kick, was regarded with a lot of controversy by many DR Congo fans on twitter who claim the ref did not handle the game fairly.

Upcoming matches: Semi-Finals (Weds. 25th Jan)

  • Libya vs Zimbabwe - 5pm CAT
  • Nigeria vs Ghana - 8:30 CAT

(all images via CAF)

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All Africa, All the time.

Cape Town-based Congolese artist Zemba Luzamba's series titled La Sape, focusing on the Sapeur culture in Congo where men take pride in staying immaculately dressed in “gentleman-ly attire” mainly of Western origin.

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

Artwork by Congolese artist Aimé Mpane

via blackcontemporaryart

Event: In this exhibition the artists Sammy Baloji and Patrick Mudekereza present us with a contemporary take on the colonial past.
 
As artists in residence in the museum they got carte blanche in the museum collections. In dialogue with scientists from the museum they have started working with a few collection pieces dating from the beginning of Congo’s colonial history.
 
These collection pieces exhale the atmosphere of the conquest of Congolese territory by the West. The leitmotif of the exhibition ‘Congo Far West’ refers not only to this territorial conquest, but also to the contemporary Congolese artists who artistically and intellectually recapture the collection pieces conserved in the West.

Patrick Mudekereza is a writer and poet but he also writes texts for comic strips, exhibitions and audiovisual art.    

During his time in the museum he is working on a hybrid sculpture entitled L’art au Congo which raises a whole host of questions, and treaties signed with a cross which sealed the transfer of land from the local chefs to Leopold II.
 
Photographer Sammy Baloji is working on a series of photographs and watercolours from a colonial exhibition led by Charles Lemaire.            

He has already exhibited in cities such as Paris, Bamako, Brussels, Cape Town and Bilbao. 

desert-dreamer:

Africa | Bakutu woman. Tshuapa, Bodende, Belgian Congo (today, the Democratic Republic of Congo) | C. Lamote. ca. 1957

desert-dreamer:

Africa | Kuba woman decorating raffia pile woven cloth, Mushenge, DR Congo | ©Eliot Elisofon. 1970

desert-dreamer:

Africa | Kuba woman decorating raffia pile woven cloth, Mushenge, DR Congo | ©Eliot Elisofon. 1970

(via thefemaletyrant)

Goma, DR Congo.

Photo by Alissa Everett

fotojournalismus:

N., 19 years old. Sex worker. DRC, June 2005.

“I work as a prostitute for four years now because I need the money. My family knows what I do and says nothing. I am together with my love (pimp) for seven years already even before beginning this work. He lives here with me. He’s always been against this work but since we have nothing there is no other choice. My friends pushed me into this. I had a child but he died from meningitis.”

From congo paradox

[Credit : Francesco Zizola]

(via artblackafrica)

Both in his photographs and in his short films Kiripi Katembo depicts the every day life of the inhabitants of Kinshasa as well as the instable political and economical context of his country.

Thanks to the use of the mobile phone or little video cameras he manages to film as close as possible to the street, avoiding the ban on filming of the Congolese government.

His works can also be more poetic, as in the series ‘un regard’… where he photographs people and landscapes reflection in the puddle of Kinshasa.

Kiripi Katembo Siku is a Goma-born and Kinshasa-based Congolese photographer and filmmaker. His first film Voiture en Carton was made with a cellphone and was selected at the “Pocket Film” Festival in the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2008. Siku is also a co-creater of the association “YEBELA” that is made up of young directors and photographers whose work on video and photo projects depict the every day life of the of people Kinshasa.

A small crowd of supporters of Albert Kalonji whose ethnic group is not to be represented in the new parliament gather outside the Palais de la Nation, in Kinshasa, for the Independence Day ceremony on June 30th, 1960.

Albert Kalonji was the leader, or Chef Suprême du Peuple Muluba et Protecteur Incontesté des Tribus Associées à son sort (Supreme Chief of the Muluba People and Uncontested Protector of the Associated Tribes), of the short-lived secessionist state of South Kasai during the Congo Crisis.

Inspired by president of Kitanga Province Moise Tshombe’s announcement to secede from Congo due to the political turmoil at the time, declaring Katanga’s independence on July 11th, 1960, Kalonji declared the independence of diamond-rich province South Kasai on August 8th, 1960.

Despite being a member of the same political party as Lumumba, Kalonji despised Lumumba due to the slaughter of thousands of his people, the Luba, which Kalonji blamed on the Congolese central government. This is a claim made by US CIA officer Larry Devlin, who was instrumental in securing US influence on the continent, in his book Chief of Station, Congo.

Kalonji’s reign over his secessionist state was short-lived and, after a four-month military campaign by the Congolese government, he was arrested on December 30th, 1961. Kalonji managed to escape and went on to maintain a government until October 1962.

After Joseph Mobutu’s coup in 1965, South Kasai was divided into two regions to discourage any future secessionist movements.

Kalonji, born either in 1919 or 1929 is still living.